With our new collection’s imminent arrival, I made a much anticipated trip over to India recently to check in with its production at Mehera Shaw, the Fairtrade tailoring unit in Jaipur where our products are made.
As is usually the case nowadays, any work trip I make is pretty jam packed as there’s young children at home to get back to. Eight days seems like such a long time when tickets are being booked (especially to a three and a five year old) but it quickly fills up and this was the case on this trip. I began in Jaipur in Rajasthan, one of the prettiest cities in India I’ve visited. Here I spent a few days visiting the printing and dyeing units in and the tailors in Mehera Shaw to check in with the production and prints for our new collection. As proficient Skype calls and emails are, it’s always great to visit with the production units personally to meet with and get to know the people who are ultimately responsible for our designs and prints coming to life.
I did manage to squeeze in a day of sightseeing in Jaipur and welcomed the familiar bustle and noises of daily life (not the traffic though, which seems to have got worse). Jaipur, the Pink City, is one of the cities in India most visited by tourists and for good reason. I could easily have spent a week here but as one day was all I had, I made the most of it.
After Jaipur, I flew south to Chennai to visit my aunt for a day. I hadn’t seen her in a few years so it was wonderful to spend quality uninterrupted time with her on my own. The following day I flew further south to inspect a new factory for future products (I’m not going to say too much here but suffice to say I was very impressed with the factory and its standards and ethos so lots to think about now...). Also being in the south meant I got to indulge in some South Indian cuisine and you really can’t go wrong with that, I’m still dreaming of the masala dosa I had one of the mornings for breakfast.
Then it was back up to Chennai to spend the night before catching my flight home the next day. Honestly I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the flights, I’m serious! Watching back to back movies is rarity these days so I nestled into my seat and emerged from the flight square eyed and three movies wiser. It was great.